These are not your childhood’s tree houses.
Think hot tub. Think accessible. Think wood-burning fireplaces. Think luxury.
Now is there a different picture in your head?
Think Grand Vue Park, the Ohio Valley’s premier recreation venue, known for aerial adventure, banquet facilities, cabins and now award-winning luxury Treetop Villas!
The concept of the Treetop Villas originated from the Marshall County Park and Recreation Board. The board recognized there was a need for a smaller overnight accommodation at the park. Prior to 2016, Grand Vue Park lodging consisted of “traditional” and “deluxe” cabins that were ultimately designed for large or multiple families. The void needed to be filled for a couple’s weekend getaway or a small family retreat. The board wanted the cabins to be unique, accessible and provide extreme comfort. With the help of Omni Associates Architects Inc, the board hit their goal spot on. In October of 2016, the Treetop Villas made their debut.
When one thinks about tree houses, his or her imagination may go immediately to a long ladder that leads to a small shanty with minimal accommodations and no electric. This is not the case with the Treetop Villas.
The villas have steel supports that are utilized and accentuated as a design element to help elevate them with minimal impact to the site. Each villa sits solidly on the side of the bluff with a flat boardwalk that leads guests easily from the parking area to the villa entrance. All villas are handicap accessible, and one of the villas is fully ADA compliant.
The extravagant villas boast hot tubs on the back deck, self-starting wood-burning fireplaces and modern furniture that anyone would love to have in their home. Bedrooms and living spaces are equipped with flat-screen TVs and an array of channel options that appeal to most guests. The decks are suspended with steel cable from cantilevered beams to achieve a floating effect and an experience that guests will never forget.
The park has four villas — two that sleep four and two that sleep six. All the villas are lovingly named after trees that exist in the park — White Oak, Blue Spruce, Red Maple and Black Walnut. The villas have different distances above ground, but the Red Maple stands the tallest with its deck at 65 feet high. A special detail is that the identifying tree is located in the front yard of each villa. Another unique outdoor feature is the shared outdoor fire pit. The fire pit is strategically located in a centralized area of the villas. It is a great place to meet other GVP friends! Some multiple family vacationers love the “Treetop Villa 4 Plex” as it gives the option for space, but still be close with family and friends.
The exceptional villas have been utilized for engagement getaways, small business meetings, photo shoots and interview venues. The park feels the best utilization of the villas is to relax after a long day at the Aerial Park or Zipline Canopy Tour. Villa guests have come from as far away as Texas and California to as close as a half mile away in the immediate Moundsville area.
The Tree Top Villas have received multiple awards. The James L. McClelland Public Parks and Recreation Facility Award was given by the West Virginia Recreation and Park Association. Award winners must show an exceptional park facility with emphasis placed on design, creativity, environmental adaptability and function. A Merit Award was given by American Institute of Architects to Omni Associates for the design of the Treetop Villas. The villas were recognized for their structural solution that “maintained the spirit of the tree house in a beautiful setting.” The most recent award was given last month by WVLIVING. WVLIVING voted the Treetop Villas as the “Most Unique Place to Spend the Night” in the state for 2018!
Grand Vue Park staff and The Marshall County Park and Recreation Board are overwhelmed with the excitement and positivity that the villas have brought to the Ohio Valley and the state of West Virginia. If someone is looking for a special experience, the villas are sure to meet their needs.
For information, call 304-845-9810 or visit grandvuepark.com.
• Ben Bolock is the assistant general manager at Grand Vue Park. Ben was born and raised in the Ohio Valley in historic Mt. Pleasant, Ohio. He graduated from Alderson Broaddus College in Philippi, West Virginia, with a bachelor’s degree in recreation leadership and minors in coaching and strength conditioning. Prior to the position at Grand Vue Park, Ben lived in Unalaska, Alaska, for six years working for the municipality as recreation manager. His passions include long-distance running, mentoring youth through Wheeling Youth Services Program, and buying and selling antiques. Ben resides in Woodsdale with his fiancé Ali Bonomo who owns her own photography business.